How Does External Conflict Impact Social Trust? Evidence from the 9/11 Attacks as a Natural Experiment in the US

30 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2011 Last revised: 7 Aug 2014

See all articles by Anna Shaleva

Anna Shaleva

European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Econometrics and Applied Statistics Unit, Centre for Research on Impact Evaluation (CRIE)

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Social trust has enchanted social scientists due to its importance for both cooperation within societies and economic performance. This paper provides a novel empirical study of whether external conflict affects trust. The possible ways that conflict could be related to trust are theoretically validated by two psychology hypotheses on social group behavior. I try to empirically identify the effect of external conflict on within-society trust by interpreting US General Social Survey (GSS) trust data within a natural experiment with the terror attacks of 9/11 observed as the external conflict. Differences-in-differences estimations are in favor of the hypothesis that positive trust attitudes within a group are independent from external conflict.

Keywords: Trust, External Conflict, Natural Experiment

JEL Classification: A12, A13, C10, C90, H80, O10, Z10

Suggested Citation

Shaleva, Anna, How Does External Conflict Impact Social Trust? Evidence from the 9/11 Attacks as a Natural Experiment in the US (September 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1769023 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1769023

Anna Shaleva (Contact Author)

European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Econometrics and Applied Statistics Unit, Centre for Research on Impact Evaluation (CRIE) ( email )

Via E. Fermi 2749
Ispra 21027
Italy

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